Christmas Traditions

The Lights

As a kid, my parents let us put Christmas lights in our bedrooms. I always loved the tradition and last year, we put some lights in Lucian’s room to pass it on! When he gets a little bit older, we will let him put them up himself.

Lance and I love to go for rides to hunt Christmas lights each year, I know Lucian will love looking at the lights this year!

The Tree

We do a Christmas ornament every year: a family Christmas ornament and Brooks a Christmas ornament every year. For our tree we increase the amount of ornaments with meaning (someone has given them to us, or we bought them with a special purpose: marriage, wedding, vacation, for Brooks, etc) each year and decrease store bought ornaments each year. This year we are buying soft plush or wooden ornaments to put along the bottom of the tree since Brooks is more mobile and hands on this year. This way we aren’t having to constantly tell him no or he feels he is getting fussed at because of the Christmas tree, we want to keep this a fun time of year and let him be involved!

Lance and I have our ornaments from when we were growing up, so we have a 2nd tree for those and plan to add Lucian’s personal ornaments to that tree every year. We love the idea of using the ornaments to talk about our childhoods and his as we get them out every year. This year, we got him a tape measure ornament because he is VERY interested in tools and even has his own mini tape measure.

I made him his very own tree this year with ornament puzzle pieces. Each year we will begin painting his own ornament and we will replace one I have painted with one he paints until he has replaced all the ornaments with ones he has painted. (Stay tuned to Wednesday’s post for pictures)

The Gifts

We started a notebook for Lucian to write his Christmas list in every year. Of course, we will write in it for him the first few years, but I know he will like to look back and see his handwriting and what he liked each year. (My mom made a good point and said we should add some prices and other memories from the year, so it is all in one place!)

The 23rd is the day we have chosen to celebrate as our family of 3. It is already a special day for BJ and I as it is the day we started dating. We travel on the 24th and 25th so we wanted a day that would not involve traveling where we could be together and celebrate. This day will grow as Brooks gets older but we will do Christmas PJs (obligatory picture), a movie, hot chocolate, and 1 gift for Brooks from BJ and I.

We enjoy experiences together as a family so that is one thing we will do as a family vs lots of gifts. We will still get him a few things: we try to stick to a gift for fun, something he needs, something to read, and an experience. We enjoying exploring together and will try to incorporate something Brooks is interested in as well. We have talked about Great Wold Lodge this year as Brooks LOVES the water.

The Places

Both boys really enjoy the local Christmas parades!

North Carolina

The White Water Center has started doing Ice Skating and a trail with lights. We LOVE the white water center anyways so when they added this we had to go and it was so fun! It was SO COLD the night we went so we will be more planned and ready to bundle up this year!

Last year we went to the Christmas festival at Carowinds for the first time and it was AWESOME and such a fun experience. This year it is called Taste of the Season, we plan for this to be a yearly fun family tradition as well! They have the park decorated with lights, do a tree lighting, have shows, holiday food, and so much more!

Mooresville County Library usually does a Christmas themed story time and pictures with Santa and we will do that yearly as well!

South Carolina

We love the VERY local Festival of Trees and Drive-Thru Christmas lights in the local Mineral Spring Park. And Santa is there too!

We will probably also try other Christmas fun next year when it is (hopefully) a little less crazy out there! I know the library, museum and more put on some really good programs.

More Traditions

Christmas Cookie decorating is a very important tradition in my family. We all have these cookie pans and use icing and sprinkles to decorate them. The adults and kids all get in on the fun. This year, Lucian will get to join in on the fun!

The last tradition we will begin this year is an advent calendar. My sister inspired me on this one. She always does really fun things with her kids in anticipation of Christmas. Look at the cute “buckets” she made out of spray painted Solo cups! She has lots of tips! The best tips are to keep it simple, remembering the things you were going to do anyway! And the other great tip was keep track of what is coming up, if you aren’t ready you can swap them! I wrapped and labeled the gifts this year. My fireplace isn’t functional yet and I thought this would be a cute way to use it. I also thought that wrapping the presents would give Lucian a lot of unwrapping experience before Christmas morning. This year, we included activities like cookie decorating, sensory bins and wrapping paper ripping. We included small gifts too, like Christmas books, a Christmas cup, and PJs. We also plan to follow this Advent reading plan each day using the Jesus Storybook Bible. Send a message or a comment if you want me to share my list or my sisters list (for older kiddos) of activities!

And of course some really cute pictures form last year’s Christmas because we HAVE TO!

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